How To: Create A Comic/Part 6: Proofread, Proofread, PROOFREAD
This next part is going to be hard for you, but once you put everything together, then it is time for you to proofread your work.
Even if you have a program that checks your spelling and your grammar, that doesn’t mean that your work will be free of errors. For instance, names are usually not covered in a spell-check program. So is that Matthew or Mathew you’re speaking to? Are the speech balloons pointing to the right characters? Are there words being chopped off in the balloons?
Are you missing word in your narration?
Now, did you catch the error that was intentionally made in that last question? There should have been an “a” in-between “missing” and “word”. Your grammar checking program may not have picked up on it. (Microsoft Word’s grammar-checking program certainly didn’t spot this error, so even the best word processing programs are not foolproof.)
This is why it’s important that you proofread your work, not just once or twice, but over and over and over again to make sure that everything is just right.
It’s hard sometimes to proofread your work on your own, which is why it is always best to have a third-party help you proofread it before you publish your works.
Sometimes running through things in your head can cause you to mentally fill-in the missing gaps in your work. So if you’re the one that typed in “Are you missing word in your narration?” then you might be mentally adding in that missing “a” without even noticing that it really isn’t there. A third person, on the other hand, would be able to spot that error quickly, because they’re not mentally predisposed to know what you intended to say.
This is where a group such as the City of Comic Creators comes in. Members are often asked to help read through comic before they are “published”, pointing out little errors, or even offering suggestions. If you are a member of the City of Comic Creators, it would be foolish for you to not take advantage of that kind of assistance.
It’s important to remember that when enlisting help from others, be they fellow writers or your friends, that you do not take their criticisms personally. This is especially true when one of them comes back with a long list of suggested changes, or they start questioning something that you may have thought was a no-brainer.
Remember: they’re here to help you! They’re trying to help you make your work even better than it already is.
Don’t Stop Proofing!
How many times should you proofread your work?
The answer to that is: As often as possible, and then even more after that.
Never think that your work is perfect, because that is usually when someone else will point out a mistake that was overlooked. Maybe it’s a plot-hole in your story, or a typo, or that missing word. Whatever it is, you’ll be slapping yourself afterward and asking why you didn’t notice it before.
So, yes, keep proofreading your work all the way up to its release. Have others help you if possible. And even after it’s published, be prepared to make corrections after-the-fact.
Now you’re ready to move to the next step… but don’t forget to keep coming back to this one OFTEN!